Hunter drops in on FSU commitment

Hunter drops in on FSU commitment

The South Carolina coaches have been on the road all week putting the finishing touches on what could be a Top 10 Nationally-ranked 2010 recruiting class, and looking for targets for the 2011 class. One stop for tight ends coach Jeep Hunter was to see Astronaut HS (Titusville, FL) four-star defensive lineman Darious Cummings. Look inside as GamecockAnthem.com has the report on how the visit went.

Astronaut HS (Titusville, FL) four-star DL Darious Cummings has been committed to Florida State since the summer before his sophomore year, but with just two months until Signing Day that hasn't stopped other schools from heavily recruiting the versatile lineman.

While Cummings considers himself still committed to Florida State, he has whittled his offer list, which includes schools such as South Carolina, Florida, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Southern Cal, down to three lucky schools he is still considering: South Carolina, Florida and, of course, FSU.

Thursday, South Carolina tight ends coach Jeep Hunter dropped by Cummings' high school then enjoyed dinner with his family afterward. Cummings says that the visit was more than about just football.

"The only thing he really did [football-wise] was show me some stuff that I wouldn't know and answer a couple of questions that my parents had," Cummings said. "We were just sitting down chillin' just asking me about school and how my season went. Just stuff like that. It wasn't really him asking me to go to his school. He was talking to me on more than a football level. Just told me if I needed any advice or needed anything just to call him. That's all the visit was."

Hunter has been putting a lot of effort into recruiting the 6-2, 245-pound lineman as of late, and Cummings described his relationship with the Gamecocks' tight ends coach.

"It's good, it's good. I like it," Cummings said. "He's a good coach and he's true to his word. He's a God's man, and he's just a good coach overall. He hasn't told me anything wrong, he's just let me know that they want me. He's talked to my dad, talked to my mom, and it's just little things like that that catch you eyes."

Cummings first really opened his eyes to the Carolina program when he was blown away during his official visit the first week of October.

"It was fun, I liked it," he said. "I had never been to Columbia, so it was something new. I liked it a lot. It was just a new experience to get to talk to Coach Spurrier and check everything out. It was something new, like all officials are going to be like that, so I expected it, but I was kind of overwhelmed, because I didn't know it was going to be that good of a trip. Just the coaching staff and interacting with the players was good."

The biggest factor in Cummings' looking at other schools has been the status of former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden and Cummings' recruiter Odell Haggins. Bowden officially retired on Tuesday afternoon after 34 seasons at FSU. "He's still going to be part of the program in some different ways," Cummings says. "He's always going to be Coach Bowden, so really nothing is going to change, he's still going to be on the sideline, he's just not going to have that title. It is a big deal, but everybody is making it into a big deal like Florida State is going to change and I really don't see it that way."

While Bowden won't be there, Cummings recruiter, Haggins, likely will be. Cummings had said in the past that if Haggins was not retained that he would likely not sign with the Seminoles due to their relationship. He described that relationship.

"It was just basically what he was talking about," Cummings said. "It all started with a good relationship at camp. And then on top of that he and my dad became close too. He and my dad have known each other for a while now. So then I checked out his track record, and I saw that he produces people to the NFL and that's the ultimately goal to go there. And then it was just Florida State itself and just what it can all do to put me in a situation to be successful."

So what happens now that Haggins is likely to stick around?

"I'm still open-minded about it," Cummings said about the other two schools he is looking at.

"I still have my Florida official next weekend and then Florida State coming up soon after that," he says. "So I'm still looking at everything to weigh my options after I take my officials.

"I'm going to go in there with an open mind, and just take everything in. And then after that I'll sit down with my parents."

He says he plans to make a final decision the day before National Signing Day. But can the Gamecocks or Gators turn him?

"I'm going to always put Florida State over the top," Cummings says, "because that's who I'm committed to and that's who I gave my pledge to. So I'm putting Florida State first and then South Carolina and Florida (tied) after that. It's going to really have to be something off the wall to make me change my mind."

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